All American: 5 Lessons This Show Has Taught Me

Wednesday, May 27

By Emma Nichols

Due to quarantine, I have been given the incredible opportunity of being able to binge watch an entire series on Netflix! All American is a dramatic and captivating show that focuses on student and star athlete Spencer James as he deals with academic, financial, and social pressures while playing high school football. This sports drama was not a show I thought I would be interested in, but I'm so glad I was wrong about it. When I tell you this show will have you crying then laughing and then crying again...I’m not kidding. Such an emotional roller coaster. I can’t lie, I was not expecting this show to so accurately represent so many social issues that go on in this country. From poverty to gang violence to high school drama, this show really covers it all. This show has really opened my eyes to issues that so many families experience.

1. Support from friends and family is crucial.

As Spencer James is forced to deal with struggles such as transferring from Crenshaw to Beverly Hills to reach his full academic and athletic potential, he feels a lot of pressure. His mother Grace, brother Dylan, and best friend Coop show him a great deal of love and support as he prepares to start this new chapter in his life. Coach Baker also becomes a huge supporter in Spencer's life as he pushes him to become the best version of himself not only on the football field, but off of it as well. The support system Spencer is given is huge in his ability to grow, push himself, and achieve his goals.

2. Never forget your roots.

While Spencer may have chosen to attend Beverly Hills High school rather than go back to Crenshaw, he never forgets to check up on his family, friends, and community that still live there. As glamorous as Beverly Hills appears to be, Spencer is never swayed into forgetting where he was born and raised. So many episodes are dedicated to focusing on the gang violence and poverty that the community of Crenshaw struggles with daily. Its a huge eye opener for viewers of this show everywhere in that it depicts these issues in an accurate way.

3. You never realize the issues going on around the world until you stare them in the face.

As I mentioned above, you do not realize the struggles of someone else until you see it for yourself. So, while Spencer is so used to witnessing gang violence and dealing with financial struggles, many of his new peers at Beverly Hills are not. Leila, Asher, Olivia, and Jordan are all seemingly very ignorant on the subject matter until they see the town of Crenshaw for themselves. I love that as the series goes on, these 4 characters really grow and develop. They are seen right by Spencer's side as he fights to end gang violence and make Crenshaw safe again for not only his family and friends, but the future residents of the town as well.

4. Perseverance is key.

Spencer is an incredibly determined football player who stops at nothing to achieve greatness. He continues to support his family, be there for his friends, and advocate for Crenshaw's safety. Throughout the series we see Spencer working tirelessly with the goal of getting recruited by a California university. He works as a busboy at a Beverly Hills cafe, he constantly trains and works out, and on top of that balances his social life and family. While I may have been watching this show from the comfort of my bed, it definitely motivated me to want to be better in all aspects of my life! Watching Spencer and all of the motivation he holds was really inspiring.

5. Challenges will always be thrown your way, but it is how you handle them and become better.

At the end of the day, All American is a drama so you can imagine there were many challenges thrown Spencer's way. He struggled with moving to Beverly Hills and not fitting in, but also struggled with feeling like he betrayed his Crenshaw friends by moving. He also faced football struggles such as game losses, injuries, and fights with teammates. These challenges were all necessary for his growth and forced him to confront situations head on.

I'm extremely happy to say this show has been renewed for a third season! I absolutely can't wait for it and I hope you all decide to give this show a chance. You definitely won't regret it!

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